Like every other department and office on campus at BYU-Idaho, the University Store is focused on helping students. Thanks to the coordination between BYU-Idaho faculty and administrators, BYU-Idaho has some of the best textbook adoption rates in the country. Because faculty submit their class textbook requests to the University Store early, it allows the store to order before other universities, locking in lower prices. This in turn allows the store to offer the most affordable book prices for students.
“We need to give credit to the faculty and their office assistants for working with us and getting their book requests in on time. About 90 percent of our faculty get their book requests in on time, whereas other college bookstores are in the 50s,” said University Store Director Brent Ashcraft.
The University Store recently received national recognition from their peers by winning an Excellence in Course Materials Management and Overall Store Performance awards from the Independent College Bookstore Association.
To help students save time and reduce stress, the University Store offers multiple book buying and rental options. Students can buy or rent their textbooks and course materials through the Text Express rental service entirely online or through the standard in-store buying method.
The online student express webpage offers many helpful features for students to use. Students have the option of buying/renting books directly from the University Store or using the I-Compare tool, a new online feature that allows students to compare the University Store prices to competitors.
The most popular and innovative method of textbook buying/rentals is the Text Express reservation. This method of book-buying/renting allows students to reserve all of their required books online and pick them up on campus at the start of the semester. The option helps students save time by avoiding waiting in lines and saves money by getting the first pick of used and rental books.
The University Store’s helpful services do not stop at book buying and rental. They now also offer other services that help students save money, including class kits for art and science courses.
“These kits are not moneymakers for us. They are a service that we do because we genuinely want to help the student,” Ashcraft said.
The University Store also offers services to benefit faculty. Many departments have reached out to the store to help create uniforms and supplies with the BYU-Idaho logo. The store now regularly provides branded uniforms and supplies to departments who ask for them. To further serve university employees, the University Store offers discounted cell phone plans and devices through its cellular department. It’s these additional resources the University Store provides that sets BYU-Idaho's store apart from the rest.
“I think the key to our success is the support of our administration—from President Eyring down. He and the vice presidents recognize the importance of having the store as a resource to help departments and students. They promote the relationship between faculty and the University Store. I feel like we are a big team, and they make that possible,” Ashcraft said.